John Kelsall Diaries and Journal

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Surname/tag: Kelsall
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by Michael Cayley

In 2020 Peter Adamson and Peter Crew edited and published a transcription by George Adamson of the extensive diaries and journal of John Kelsall, a British Quaker, who lived from 1683 to 1743. The diaries cover the period from 1716 to his death; the Journal includes earlier information about John Kelsall's family.

This free space page contains the main genealogical information (essentially, births, marriages and deaths where names are clearly identifiable) in the book, with page references. Page numbers are for the overall volume numbering - the PDF also has separate page numbers for each section. Dates are Quaker dates before the 1752 change of dating: see The Quaker Calendar.

The diaries mention a very large number of other names of people John Kelsall met or heard of, including some visitors from Pennsylvania. Anyone researching Quakers and others who lived near the Wales/England border in the first half of the 18th century may find clues if they do a surname search on the whole PDF. There are also some references to people who lived elsewhere in England, Wales and Ireland.

The book is available free as a PDF on Academia and can be freely downloaded. I may have made some transcription errors, so it would be advisable to check against the original PDF.

The monthly meeting referred to is Dolobran Monthly Meeting, also known as Shropshire and Montgomeryshire Monthly Meeting.

I am grateful to Peter Adamson and Peter Crew for permission to compile this page.


Information relating to John Kelsall himself and his more immediate family is on the relevant profiles

p. 400 [1 June 1704] Ellis [Lewis] and I lodged at Wm. Aubreys (son-in-law to Wm. Penn) in White Lion Court in Cornhill {London}


p.40 18:12mo 1717/8 Was at the burial of Jno. Royd Esq at Abberlleverenee
p.41 9:11mo 1720/21 Heard... of ye Decease of Rd. Lloyd of White Horse in Salop.
p.44 25:12mo 1720/21 Tho. Lloyd of Henllan dyed last night of a very short illness.
p. 45 1:1mo 1720/21 [1 Mar 1721] recd this day a Letter from Sister Betty in Ireland whereby Understood she was married to one Isaac Fairbrother a Cooper by Trade
p.47 30:2mo 1721 Wrote this Day J Reynold's Certificate of Marriage who was to be married on 6th Day following 5th of 3 mo.
p.48 18:3mo 1721 This morning died Abm Gittins and old Finer yt had been long indispos'd of a Dropsy &c and was buried late yt evening at Mivod.
p.50 20:4mo 1721 Wrote this Day to sister Betty in Ireland, putting her in mind of ye many good advises yt had been given her, and if she was now brought into affliction it was her own fault who mostly was pleased with vain & loose company &c she might now try wt assistance would give her, and yt she having turn’d her back of friends (by marrying &c after the way of ye world) it was no wonder if she was rejected by the desiring. It might please ye Lord to bring her to a sense of her outgoings so yt she might know true Repentance and mercy of ye Lord in the great Day of Acct ... with more to the same effect
p.51 9:5mo 1721 This morning my wife was not well, however I went to meeting (having before sent for the midwife). Abt. 1 ho P.M. before I came from meet. She was safely delivered of a very fine Girl we called Elizabeth.
p.58 30:10mo 1721 Last night Vaughan Humphreys a neighbour dyed from a few days illness
p.60 29:11mo 1721/2 This Evening our neighbour Hugh Bowen was buried who died 6th day Evening
p.62 24:1mo 1721/2 [24 Mar 1722] heard... of the Decease of our Dear friend and worthy Elder Jno Ecroyd who in understanding made a very fine & comfortable End declaring yt he felt yt wch was scarce able to be known in the outward Body.
p.64 26:2mo 1722 Was this Day concern'd to hear yt our frd Israel Hale at Gwyder was taken to prison on Acct of ye Company's Busness there.
p.69 30:5mo 1722 Sarah England was brought to bed of a Boy on 6th Day last whom they call Charles.
p.72 21:7mo 1722 that evening abt 11 ho my Dear Father Departed this Life in great Quietness & Peace
p.73 23:7mo 1722 father buried
p.73 25:7mo 1722 reference to "my uncle T. Cragg"
p.74 20:8mo 1722 Rec'd a Letter from Israel Hale with an Acct yt his Uncle Jos. Heal died ye 7th Inst. to his great Loss and Exercise.
p.78 25:11mo 1722/3 This evening a Letter came from S Lloyd junr giving acct how yt his sister Eliz: and T Morris were married by the Priest ye 22d Inst to ye great Grief of ye Family.
p.87 17:1mo 1722/3 [17 March 1723] Went to meeting where came T Morris & his wife being the first time they had been at meeting since their marriage, but no fiends took any notice of them or spoke to them.
p.88 10:2mo 1723 This day died Rd. Derwas Vicar of Mivod.
p.89 1:3mo 1723 Heard that sister Mary & Jno. Gilbert proposed their Intentions of Marriage; yesterday received a letter from sister intimating the same and that mother was very weak &c.
p.90 18:3mo 1723 this day J Goodwin's daughter was brought to bed of a girl
p. 91 28:3mo 1723 Went to the monthly meeting when Mr Cha: [Lloyd] proposed his intentions of marriage with Jane Wilkins.
p.93 27:4mo 1723 Was at the marriage of my sister-in-law Mary with Jno. Gilbert.
p.94 3:5mo 1723 ... my mother-in-law died last evening about 6ho... She was about 72 years old...
p.95 13:5mo 1723 This forenoon my wife, daughter Betty, son John and self came homewards... Found that mother had made sister Mary & Hen. Dowdswell Executors, had left only £10 to Bro. Amos & 20£ to her own Bro. in Town and all the rest to sister Mary which with money, goods &c could not be much less than 400£. Heard that sister Betty is living in Dublin and had sent over for her money left by father and her goods &c.
p.96 17:6mo 1723 This evening Gr. Owen, youngest son of Gr. Owen of Pennsylvania, came here.
p.98 27:7mo 1723 Heard that Bro. Jno. Gilbert & sister removed from Salop ti Birmingham the 24th Inst.
p.100 31:8mo 1723 Went to Estymcolwyn hearing that Justice Williams was very ill who I now found died the evening before at about 7ho and was buried this day at about 2ho at night being the morning of next day, he being so corpulent could not be kept having not been sick above 3 or 4 days.
p.105-6 3:12mo 1723/4 [3 February 1724] Understood ... that our dear and ancient friend Eleanor Haycock of Penkelth deceased about two weeks ago.
p.106 16:12mo 1723/4 [16 February 1724] Heard that our friends Thos. Roylton of London and Jno. Barcroft of Ireland lately deceased.
p.108 25:1mo 1723/4 [25 March 1724] Heard that Cha: [?Frisby] of Montgomery and his wife both died about a week ago. Heard also that Owen Price, nephew of Ed. Price of Dolgelly died about 2 weeks ago.
p.113 9:4mo 1724 Reference to "Elinor Moor from Sedber, daughter of Jno. Moor (son in law to Thos. Cam) by a first wife, and Mary Gibeon of Kendal".
p.114. 28:4mo 1724 Reference to "my Uncle James Kelsall at Duddon... He... keeps a publick house having married a widdow and lives handsomely."
p.115. 27:5mo 1724 Went with several friends to the Burial of Mary Morrice, Jno. Thos. mother of Llanwythin who died 23 Inst."
p.116. 10:6mo 1724 I went with my two sons Jno. & Amos for Salop...
p.117 19:6mo 1724 Heard this day the decease of our dear friend Enoch Tomlinson of Warrington.
p.119 24:7mo 1724 This morning S. E. [Sarah England] returned designing to get that night to Wolverhampton, 42 miles, in order to be at the marriage of her Brother-in-law Allan England the next day at Tamworth.
p.123 14:10mo 1724 The 8th at night our neighbour Rees Lloyd of Henjarth was drowned near Llanvair Bridge.
p.123. 15:10mo 1724 Reference to decease of "my dear friend Richd. Lewis who dyed about the beginning of 2nd mo. last."
p.126 16:12mo 1724/5 [16 February 1725] I received a letter from one Griffith Jones of Germantown in Pennsylvania with an account of the Decease of our Dear Friend Rd. Lewis... He died the 30th of 1st mo. and was buried the 2nd of 2nd mo. last at Philadelphia having not been ill many hours, dying of an apoplectic fit (as supposed).
p.129 13:2mo 1725 Was at the Burial of a neighbour Rees Jno. Griffith.
p.129 20:2mo 1725 Understood that our old woodcutter David Rogers died this day.
p.130 25:2mo 1725 I found Gabriel Owen, the man come that morning from Burghill with an account that old James Eton Dyed on 4th day last in the afternoon and was buried on 6th Day at Hereford...
p.131 12:3mo 1725 ... understood... that our fried Abrm. Pugh died this morning.... I received also this evening a letter p post from my cousin David Cragg giving an account of the Decease of my Dear Uncle Timothy Cragg who died the 14th of 12mo last.
p.131 16:3mo 1725 Understood the Thos. Sturge, young masters uncle, lately died.
p.131 19:3mo 1725 This day Justice Mostyn's wife of Brungwyn was Buried.
p.147 22:8mo 1725 Wrote this evening to my son Amos, to Cousin Abrm. Merrick & Jno. James.
p.148 5:9mo 1725 This forenoon Sarah Matthews, wife of B. Matthews our Finer died having laid in about 3 weeks ago.
p.148 6:9mo 1725 Was at the Burial of the said Deceased [Sarah Matthews].
p.149 14:9mo 1725 Received a letter from Bro. Jno. Gilbert p post acquainting me that my son John was gone in order for an apprentice to one Richd. Ainge, a friend in Birmingham a Button-maker & Toy-maker.
p.149 5:9mo 1725 Yesterday Thos. Smith, commonly called Cumberland, dyed. He was a very notable carrier.
p.149 23:9mo 1725 Reference to his uncle Thos. Mansel.
p.153 24:11mo 1725 [24 January 1726] This evening The Wid. Wms. of Estymcolwyn was buried at Mivod having been brought up that day from Wat-say where she dyed about a week before.
p.154 12:12mo 1725 [12 February 1726] This evening Jno. Ravenshaw came here from Leominster with an account that Phebe Beck dyed at Bromyard the 11th inst.
p.157 29:1mo 1725/6 [29 March 1726] There was also a certificate given [at a Quaker business meeting] for Jno. Winter, 2nd son of W. Winter, who is about to be married at Birmingham.
p.159 19:2mo 1726 Was busy this morning writing the marriage certificate and other papers for Edward Jones... E. Jones proposed here [Dolobran Monthly Meeting] the 2nd time his intentions of marriage and the meeting rising up a little time sate again when the marriage was solemnized.
p.164 5:5mo 1726 Heard that Tho. Morris of LLanvilling died lately at London.
p.168 21:6mo 1726 There came in my absence a letter from Cousin D Cragg giving an account that my brother had been married some time ago and had a daughter, that my cousin Tho. Dilworth was lately dead &c.
p. 172 22:8mo 1726 Understood by a letter from Samp. Lloyd that his sister Betty Morris died at Birmingham the 18th inst.
p.173 4:9mo 1726 Last evening received a letter from G. Browne giving an account that John Winter died at Stourbridge the 29th of last month about 10 P.M. having been sometime sick of a fever.
p.179 30:11mo 1726/27 [30 January 1727] This evening my uncle J. Mandel and his two daughters Betty and Susannah came here with other friends from Shropshire.
p.179 9:12mo 1726/27 Reference to Jno. Spilbery, lately deceased.
p.182 7:2mo 1727 References to "Sister Mary & daughter Betty" and 2 sons John and Amos.
p.183 12:2mo 1727 I met with my Brother Jos. Kelsall [at Chester] whom I had not seen before of about 14 years.
pp. 185-6 2:4mo 1727 Understood that R. [Robert] Owen died the evening before & was buried on the morrow.
p.203 24:10mo 1727 Gr. Owen's son Owen died about 18.
p.204 27:10mo 1727 Was at the burial of Gr. Owen's son.
p.205 21:11mo 1727/28 [21 January 1728] I lately heard that my uncle James Kelsall was dead.
p.205 27:11mo 1727/28 [27 January 1728] Heard that our ancient friend Edw. Ellis of Bala died the 19th inst.
p.214 10:6mo 1728 Understood that Andrew Parry of the Farm was buried this evening at Mivod. He died in Canterbury & was brought down thither to be buried.
p.221 5:11mo 1728/9 [5 January 1729] William [Winter] died that afternoon about 2ho.
p.221 14:11mo 1728/9 Was this afternoon taking an Inventory of W. [William] Winter's effects along with Jno. Mason his Brother in law.
p.228 6:4mo 1729 This evening a son of Evan Morris our miller about 3 years old was drowned at the mill.
p.230 30:4mo 1729 Met there [Pool Fair] with Henry Payton of Dudley who proposed for me to go to be their clerk at Dolgyn Furnace being willing to give me 30£ p ann: which I partly agreed to.
p.234 11:7mo 1729 Understood that Jacob Endon deceased the day before and was to be buried the 13th inst.
p.237 2:9mo 1729 This day our son Timothy had a mischance by falling into the fire burning his right arm pretty much.
p.239 1:11mo 1729/30 [1 January 1730] Was at the Burial of neighbour Humphrey Owen's wife, the miller of Dolecere Mill... this woman was the 3rd or 4th that died of the same Distemper as our Founder
p.241 21:12mo 1729/30 [21 February 1730] Received a letter... from Rd. Wildman with the unpleasant news of the Decease of his little son, a great exercise to him.
p.242 7:1mo 1729/30 [7 March 1730] Was at the Burial of Lewis Pugh of Peny Tygee Daughter.
p.245 13:3mo 1730 Was at the Burial of a friends son Ellis Powel.
p.246 3:4mo 1730 Was at the Burial of Old Rowland Ellis of Gwanas this morning.
p.246 11:4mo 1730 Was at the Burial of our neighbour Ellis Cadwalladers child that died of the small pox.
p.247 1:5mo 1730 Was at the Burial of our neighbour Ellis Cad[wallader]'s child died the 29th.
p.248 25:5mo 1730 Went... to the Burial of Jno. Lewis of Birth Llwyd.
p.251 18:7mo 1730 This was my birth day when I entered the 48th Year of my age.
p.251 30:7mo 1730 Went... to the Burial of Ronld. Pugh, Buttler at Nanney at Llanvarach.
p.254 30:8mo 1730 Understood that my wifes Brother Thomas Davies dyed some time ago of the small Pox in Birmingham.
p.256 24:10mo 1730 Was at the burial of a neighbour Roland Pugh's wife.
p.256 31:10mo 1730 Was at the burial of a neighbour Jane Anwill.
p.259 17:1mo 1730/31 [17 March 1731] Was at the Burial of an old neighbour Wm. Probert Gr. Prees's window.
p.259 20:1mo 1730/31 [20 March 1731] Was at the burial of Evan Rees son.
p.267 31:6mo 1731 Received a letter from G. Bunce & son Benj. who gave me the surprizing account of the death of his Mr. Thos. Harvey who died at Tern near Salop about 1ho A.M. the 26th Inst having been taken ill but 2 days before.
p.272 30:10mo 1731 Was... at the Burial of Ellyn Nanney, wid.
p.275 10:1mo 1731/32 [10 March 1732] Went... to the burial of Ellis Pugh our Car's wife at Llanvarech.
p.275 11:1mo 1731/32 [11 March 1732] Heard that Lewis Hughes died suddenly at London the 6th inst.
p.278 23:2mo 1732 Understood that Edward John Griffith of Dolobran died the 19th Inst.
p.279 3:3mo 1732 Last week we waned [weaned?] our Daughter Susannah.
p.286 10:7mo 1732 Went... to the burial of Jno. Humphreys, Smith.
p.288 19:8mo 1732 Was in Town at the Burial of Eliz: Rowlands of the Excise Office.
p.293 12:1mo 1732/33 [12 March 1733] Was at the burial of Griff. Lloyd's mother-in-law.
p.300 17:6mo 1733 Was at the Burial of Griff. Lloyd of Brynadda.
p.306 27:11mo 1733/34 [27 Jan 1734] ...heard of the death of Wm. Howse & of Jno. King in Cheshire and that Mary Lloyd was married to an Excise man in Birmingham.
p.307 9:12mo 1733/4 [9 February 1734] Was at the burial of our neighbour Owen Griffith of the Coed yesterday.
p.307 19,20:12mo 1733/34 [19, 20 February 1734] On the 16th Inst. the Heiress of Nanney, Kath Vaughan was delivered of a daughter called Anne.
p.308 31:1mo 1733/34 [31 March 1734] Heard of the Decease of our friend Elisha Beadles.
p.309 20:2mo 1734 This morning our friend Joe. Davies of Mivod deceased.
p.310 23:3mo 1734 Was at the funeral of our neighbour David LLoyds wife she being interred at Nant-urrog about 12 miles of[f].
p.317 8:10mo 1734 Was at the burial of our neighbour Humphrey Evans the Cooper's son.
p.319 15:11mo 1734/5 [15 January 1735] ... was at the burial of Wm Pugh David an old workman & carpenter of ours, he fell into the river in the night by the Town and was not found till abt. a week after.
p.320 17:12mo 1734/5 [17 February 1735] Was at the Burial of John Evans the old Excise man.
p.320 26:12mo 1734/5 [26 February 1735] ... went to the Burial of David Jones of Bryn Rûg...
p.321 31:1mo 1734/5 [31 March 1735] was at the burial of Thos. Tamerlain.
p.322 18:3mo 1735 ... went to Bromyard 9 mls, lodg'd at Benj. Becks, met here with Jno. Corbin whose son Saml. was this day married to Jno. Beck's daughter.
p.322 20:3mo 1735 ... was at the burial of Jno. Beadles wife.
p.325 Includes a list of some Quakers in Bristol in 1735
p.328 28:6mo 1735 This day was buried Peter Brown, Bishop of Cork and Ross...
p.328 10:7mo 1735 Was at the burial of Rachel Beale, daughter of the wid. Beale.
p.330 22:8mo 1735 Was at the funeral of Richd. Abell.
p.332 7:11 mo 1735/6 [7 January 1736] This day was at S. Harrisons [at Sunday's Well, Cork, Ireland] when his son Thos. was buried having died of the smallpox the day before aged 3 years.
pp.333-334 List of Quakers and some items in Cork, Ireland
p.336 9:1mo 1735/6 [9 March 1736] This evening son John came here [to Shropshire] from Birmingham. Very much concern'd to hear he was married since last 6mo to one Anne Starkey, a Friend, but not among Friends. [i.e. they had a non-Quaker marriage]
p.338 11:3mo 1736 [at Dublin] Was at the burial of Jos. Gill's eldest son Joseph at Dolphins Barns...
p.339 Includes list of some Dublin Quakers in 1736
p.340 7:9mo 1736 Understood... that Ellin Lewis of Tyddyn y Garreg died yesterday.
p. 346 14:10mo 1737 Went to my son John's in Mot Lane [Birmingham], found he had a son abt. a year old called Edward.
p. 347 15:10mo 1737 ... heard... yt Bro. Jno. Gilbert was married again and had left friends.
p.349 25:1mo 1737/8 [25 March 1738] This evening abt. 6ho died Martha, P. Leadbeater's wife.
p.349 28:1mo 1737/8 [28 March 1738] Was at the funeral of sd. Martha Leadbeater who was carried to be buried at Newton.
p.349 18:2mo 1738 Was glad t meet my bro. Joe. Kelsall [at Preston, Lancashire] whom I had not seen of 11 years.
p.351 27:4mo 1738 Heard that our Frd [Friend] Robt. Lewis near Dolegelley died abt. 3 weeks ago.
p.364 27:8mo 1740 Heard that Sr Wm. Williams Bart. of Llanvordar near Oswestry died the 20th Inst.
p.368 13:6mo 1741 This day son John came here, understood that he had buried his wife about 2 months ago who had left him two sons that were kept by some of her relations.
p.369 27:7mo 1741 Was in the Afternoon at the Burial of Thos. Yoxall's Daughter Nancy.
p.371 15:9mo 1741 Last Night was buried Roger Adams, Printer of ye Chester News &c.
p.371 27:9mo 1741 Last night Died Hen: Bennet, Alderman & Justice. [? of Chester]
p.371 29:10mo 1741 Saw the pompous Funeral of Mrs Dighton Salmin, being 14 Parson, 12 Batchelours & 12 old Maids & widows with many others in mourning.
p.376 4:6mo 1742 Was concern'd to hear that my particular Acquaintance Peter Potter, Bookseller Died this day having been taken ill but 4 days before.
p.381 2:5mo 1743 ... last Even. our Friend John Lamb Deceased.
p.382 4:5mo 1743 This Day our sd fed [Friend] Jno. Lamb, was buried at Newton...
p. 383 [note by editors at end of diaries] "It is assumed that he [John Kelsall] died on the 30th of July [1743]. This assumption is based on the death of Jno. Lamb on the 2nd of July and burial on the 4th at Newton. If this was the prevailing custom, John Kelsall would have been buried two days after he died. He was interred on August 1st, 1743 at Newton-by-Frodsham Meeting House as recorded in the copy of the Friends burials register held at the Chester PRO, Chester. Susannah Kelsall received support for herself and two children in 1744 and 1746 from the Wales Yearly Meeting. She died in Liverpool in 1767 age 78 and was buried there, having outlived John by 24 years."

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Michael, what an amazing document to have transcribed, thank you for the dedicated effort. Mary Matthews-4256, fourth wife of early Pennsylvania immigrant, William Brown, was a member of Dolobran Meeting. (what a beautiful place that is!) I see there is a reference to a Matthews death in the transcript - Sarah wife of the Meeting's "Finer", B. Matthews, in 1725. I'll include it in the research notes as a lead for anyone trying to flesh out other possible family members in the future. Sarah's burial, I now find, can also be cross-referenced in the Montgomery Burials record available at Find My Past.
posted by Jennifer Mortimer
edited by Jennifer Mortimer
Thank you, Jenny. I am glad this is of interest :-)
posted by Michael Cayley